Businesses must update eCommerce strategies to remain successful
April 13, 2015
Businesses have to update their eCommerce strategies to solidify their brands' long-term success.
Companies still using eCommerce like they did in the 1990s likely have to update their internal strategies to online sales, Marketing Land's David Rekuc recently suggested. He likened businesses to waiters in how they approach audiences - they are simply there to accommodate people's desire to look for products - rather than taking on a salesperson mentality, with the latter actively engaged in increasing value for customers and acquiring new consumers.
Rekuc has first-hand experience helping eCommerce brands make the switch from waiter to salesperson. The company in question achieved year-over-year sales improvements of 30 percent.
The first step in overhauling eCommerce strategies is by updating the website itself. Firms must focus on product detail pages to sell items.
"Your homepage, your about page, and - perhaps most importantly - your policy pages must instill trust as if your site visitor has never heard of you. This starts with compelling copy, a place for customer reviews, 21st century shipping/return policies and professional photography," Rekuc wrote.
Shipping is eCommerce industry's downfall
Inventory management is critical to any successful shipping operation. Brands with inadequate tracking tools may mistakenly see products are available at brick-and-mortar stores for customer pickup when they are not. Order fulfillment backups are ideal for this scenario, ensuring goods are located at the proper end destination.
More companies could benefit from having a complete eCommerce solution and order fulfillment system available to support their shipping capabilities. A Wipro Digital report on shoppers in the U.K. and United States discovered 71 percent and 61 percent of consumers purchased more than 50 percent of their holiday products online this past year, up from 45 percent and 36 percent in 2013, respectively.
Wipro Digital Head Avinash Rao said the eCommerce industry's Achilles' heel is shipping.
"If online pure plays are unable to offer free shipping on every order and consumers worry that they will not receive their purchases in time, bricks and mortar retailers may be able to regain some of their lost customers next year," Rao indicated.
Looking ahead to 2015 holiday retail shopping, nearly half of shoppers want to avoid paying shipping costs.
Companies must be aggressive with sales
Customers may be in the market for particular products but are patient enough to wait for the right deal to come along. Brands that offer sales that are just competitive may not entice these on-the-fence consumers to buy. Rekuc asserted eCommerce businesses have to be aggressive with their deals.
He encouraged companies to experiment with different sales to find deals that address key needs. These goals include increased conversion rates and improved experiences to first-time shoppers.
Don't forget to reach out to consumers
Email is still a valuable tool for any eCommerce brand. Rekuc indicated businesses should offer immediate discounts or giveaways for people who submit their email addresses on their websites to become subscribers. Once the audience base is strong, firms should then reach out to participants with marketing messages to gain insight into the most effective campaigns and develop future initiatives based on this information.
The eCommerce industry is highly competitive and always evolving. Companies unable to strike balance between their marketing messages, website management and order fulfillment tools will never maximize their brands' full potential.